How to Show Love to Your Dog

We love our dogs. No matter what kind of day we’re having, when we walk through the door to find our faithful furry companion waiting for us, there’s nothing better.

Dogs spend most of their time with us showing how much they love us. How do we return the favor? I’ve come up with a few ways you can show your love to your canine family member.

4 Ways You Can Show Love to Your Dog

Speak Lovingly

While I’m training, I recommend pet owners use a commanding, authoritative...

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Mastering the Art of Positive Punishment (Pawsitive Punishment)

Whoa! Put down the pitchforks!

I know, this topic can be…controversial. This title seems a bit contradictory, but positive punishment is basically applying something unpleasant or aversive to your dog to reduce the frequency of or stop an unwanted behavior.

In positive motivational training this is a basic “no no”. Hence the bad rap. And I totally understand that.

I have always been a believer and proponent of teaching most behaviors in a positive way. Using praise, treats,...

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Mastering Dog Urine Marking Behavior

First and most important, dog urine marking is not a housebreaking issue. Though urine is involved, cause and correction are very different, so let’s not confuse the two.

Urine marking can occur in both male and female dogs of any age. However, it most commonly starts in adolescent male dogs and continues into adulthood. It can be a huge issue that is upsetting to the entire family, usually because of behavior or sanitary concerns.

It can be so severe an issue that many people give...

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Mastering the Holidays – A Canine Master

Thanksgiving is here and with it the official start of the holiday season. From the last Thursday in November until well into next year, it’s a time of gatherings and celebrations.

And family.

Family is what makes the holidays great. And to most of us, our dogs are family. It’s essential that Rudolph the Schnauzer have a great time too if we are to call these festivities a success.

So, before the first guests arrive, it’s a good time to review the rules. Just like we know we...

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Mastering Separation Anxiety: Treating the Cause and Not the Symptoms

A friend recently reached out to me because her parents’ 7-year-old Standard Poodle was showing signs of separation anxiety.

Her parents had relocated to Florida and now the dog continuously barks when her parents leave the apartment and the neighbors are complaining. To make matters worse, the dog is also showing other symptoms and has stopped eating.

Many times a dog will start showing signs of anxiety (panting, salivating, pacing, barking and whining) as soon as the owners start to...

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Monstering Halloween…or Mastering Howl-a-ween

Halloween is a holiday for thrills and chills. But it’s important we don’t forget that the best way to enjoy a holiday is by making sure we enjoy it safely.

It’s fun to include the family pet in family activities, so it’s natural to think that we should include our dogs in the festivities. I once saw a family dressed as the dogs from Paw Patrol with their dog dressed as Ryder. It was very creative.

But the best holidays are safe holidays. Especially for dogs.

Leave...

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Mouthing and Chewing is Not Just Lip Service

Puppies explore the world with their mouths.

It is completely normal for puppies to mouth just about everything, including us. And unfortunately for us, a puppy’s baby teeth are very sharp and painful - like little needles.

It helps, though, if we understand that they don't mean to be hurtful.

It doesn’t help the physical pain but it may allay some fears.

Some of my clients quickly jump to conclusions and fear they may have an aggression problem. But most of the time it is just...

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Simon Says, Enjoy The Car Ride

I was running errands the other day and in the parking lot of a shopping center I saw a familiar scene. A young family - having finished at the dog groomer - struggling to get their 80-pound Weimaraner into the car.

The dog wasn't acting untrained or belligerent. She wasn't having fun or jumping around in a playful manner.

The dog was afraid.

And I flash-backed almost 20 years. It reminded me of one of my earliest clients, Simon.

I first met Simon at one of my first training classes. His...

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It's Back to School

Ahhh, the end of summer…

The sad sobs of children outdone only by the plaintive cries of teachers everywhere.

But don't forget the mournful howls of our furry friends.

The end of lazy, playful summer days and the return to routine and schedules can be a difficult adjustment for everybody. If you have a pet, you should also consider how it affects them. Those early alarms mean long stretches of quiet at home. The loss of play pals. Less park days. And since dogs can't read calendars,...

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How to Housebreak Your Dog

Like in most of my trainings, I try to approach housebreaking as naturally as possible. As instinctively as possible. Dogs have a natural den instinct. They like to sleep in a small, close, dark, confined space. And they will not soil where they sleep.

We can take advantage of this natural instinct to housebreak them.

Paper training or using wee wee pads goes against this natural den instinct. It teaches the puppy that it is okay to go to the bathroom in his den and this confuses the puppy....

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